Your international flight (not included in our tour) should arrive in San Jose prior to day #1. We propose the transfer from the airport and one extra night in a 4* hotel San Jose for
59 $US per traveller in double occupancu. This price includes a full breakfast.
I received replies in a very timely manner from all of the agencies I contacted. After asking them for more detailed information we decided to go with Amerik Aventure. Our contact person was Mark, and he could not have been more helpful. He answered all our questions very quickly, set up the tour according to all our requests and made helpful suggestions which made things go even more smoothly.
Our birding guide was excelent! We could not have asked for someone more knowledgeable, more personable, or more fluent in English. We were also very happy with our driver.
Anyone in our group would not hesitate to use Amerika Venture to plan another trip.
- Bert Hensel , USA
Breakfast is served at the hotel from 6h00AM on. Meet your tour guide, tour driver and travel mates at the hotel’s reception hall at 07h00AM. Our driver will be driving from San José to Liberia this morning and meet us again at the airport in Liberia upon our arrival with the domestic flight from San José to Liberia. This morning, at 7h00, you can hand him any luggage you will not need today during this flight. We enjoy a good breakfast at the hotel (buffet) and have some time to relax before transferring to San Jose’s international airport at 10h00AM. Your guide will accompany you on the flight and assist you with the check-in procedures. Domestic flight to Liberia. NOTE: If your trip with us begins today in Liberia, you will receive a credit for the flight included in this tour that you are using. Upon arrival at the Liberia airport, our driver will meet us at the exit of the arrivals terminal. We will have lunch at a local restaurant before transferring to the charming ranch-inn Hacienda Guachipelin, located next to the Rincon de la Vieja National Park (1½ hours’ drive, half of it on a gravel road), in one of the best birding areas of Costa Rica. Check-in at the lodge for the next two nights in comfortable rooms set in a beautiful environment. During our stay, all meals are served buffet style at the lodge.
The area of Rincon de la Vieja National Park has the reputation of being one of the best places for bird watching in the country. Meet your guide before breakfast for some observation around the ranch. Breakfast is served buffet style at the lodge. We then begin our guided exploration of the region, starting in the Rincon de la Vieja National Park for a hike on the nature trails. We will also explore the vicinity of the lodge. The exact program will be based on the group’s interests, rhythm and wishes. In the afternoon there will be some time to relax or choose between a wide array of optional activities (extra costs may apply) proposed in the area, such as horseback riding expeditions to nearby waterfalls, zip lining over the tree canopy and canyons, rappelling, mountain biking, tubing down the Negro River or a trip to the nearby natural thermal hot springs. Your tour guide will happily assist you in organizing any of these activities.
Birding in the Rincon de la Vieja region: Among the many birds that can be observed here we find the Gray Hawk and the Broad-winged Hawk, the White-throated Magpie Jay, the Squirrel Cuckoo, the Blue-Crowned Motmot, the Emerald Toucanet, the Blue Crowned Euphonia, the Elegant Euphonia, the Black Guan, the Crested Guan, the Plain Chachalaca and many more...
Meet with your tour guide for some early morning bird watching on the premises surrounding the lodge. After breakfast, we head towards Santa Elena in the Monteverde region (approx. 4-hour drive). We will make a few interesting birding stops on the way and will stop for lunch at a restaurant located on the Corobici river banks. A brief walk around the restaurant might allow for some additional birding. Motmots, Herons, Crested Caracaras, Egrets and Toucans are quite common in the riparian forest lining the Rio Corobici. Upon arrival in Santa Elena this afternoon, we check-in at our comfortable inn. Discover the hotel’s grounds with your naturalist guide or enjoy some free time to relax before tonight’s evening meal served at the hotel’s restaurant.
Birding in the Monteverde region: We might find many of the species seen in Rincon de la Vieja, plus the Resplendent Quetzal, the Orange Billed Trogon and the Collared Trogon, the Magnificent Hummingbird, the Violet Saberwing, the Silvery-throated Jay, the Sulfur-winged Parakeet and many more...
Early morning bird watching walk on the grounds of our lodge and in the area. After breakfast, we experience the region’s Treetop Walkways, a network of trails and suspended bridges in the jungle canopy. This activity allows an intriguing close-up view on the flora and fauna of the higher levels of the forest. A wide variety of birds, orchids and bromeliads will catch your eye up here. Our exploration of the reserve thought its trails and bridges will introduce us to the region’s incredible biodiversity. Contoured by the Tilaran Mountains, the Monteverde area spreads on eight ecological zones; it shelters over 100 mammal, 400 bird and 1500 plant species. In the afternoon we will be heading towards the Arenal Volcano region, travelling by road around the Arenal lake (an approximate 4 hour drive). A stop on the way will allow for some superb views and perhaps some birding from the roadside. Lunch will be served at a nice restaurant overviewing the Arenal lake. Arrival in the late afternoon and check-in at our comfortable hotel located at the foot of the Arenal volcano, in a peaceful and natural environment. Tonight’s evening meal will be served at the hotel’s restaurant. Those who wish may visit one of the hot springs resorts of the region. This is an optional activity and extra cost applies.
Birding in the Arenal Volcano zone: Green Honeycreepers, Shinning Honeycreepers, Crimson-collared Tanagers, Passerine's Tanager, Hepatic Tanager, Orange-bellied Trogon, Black-crested Coquette, Green Thorntail, Violet-headed Hummingbird, Smoky-brown Woodpecker, Golden-olive Woodpecker, Gray-headed Kite, White Hawk, Crested Guan, Great Curassow, Gray-headed Chachalacas, Montezuma Oropendolas, Spotted Antbird, Dull-mantled Antbird, Bicolored Antbird, Nightingale Wren, Plain-brown Woodcreeper, Streak-crowned Antvireo. Striped-breasted Wren, Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush…
Early this morning, after breakfast at the hotel, we will be heading towards the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge and the Rio Frio, some of the most biologically diverse wetlands in Costa Rica, offering intensive wildlife viewing and birdwatching. Set near the Nicaraguan border, in a remote marshy, jungle-like area, this region is one of the most difficult places to independently visit in Costa Rica. We will travel by road during a 2-hour drive to Los Chiles, a village located only 4 km from the Nicaraguan border. After a welcome drink and snack, we will board the open cockpit boat, equipped with a sun awning to protect us from the relentless sun, and begin our four-hour floating safari. The expedition takes us slowly and silently along the Río Frío (Cold River) winding through canyons on its way to the Caño Negro Lake. Along the shores of the river and in the trees that bend over its waters, we will be able to spot birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. We may spot here howler, spider and white-faced monkeys, three-toed sloths, caimans, turtles, and even Jesus Christ Lizards. Keep your eyes on the river too, there's a good chance you will be spotting the fin of a freshwater shark as it slices above the water’s surface. A wide variety of birds, animals and fish inhabit this tropical lowland of 9900 hectares (24,620 acres). Many of the birds, such as the glossy ibis, green-backed heron or the roseate spoonbill are large and easy to spot. While the howler monkey, the spectacled caiman, the black river turtle and the iguana seem to be nearly everywhere, it is the fortunate few who ever glimpse the reclusive jaguar, ocelot or tapir. Upon return in Los Chiles, we will be served a typical, delicious lunch in the restaurant “El Caiman,” which is nicely located on the riverbank of Rio Frío before heading back to Arenal. We will be back at our hotel in the late afternoon, around 16h30. We will have some time to freshen up and relax before taking the evening meal at our hotel’s restaurant or in town.
Birding in the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge zone, we may be able to observe these species: Pinnated Bittern, Boat-billed Heron, Glossy Ibis, Green Ibis, Jabiru, Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, Snail Kite, Plumbeous Kite, Black-collared Hawk, Northern Harrier, Sungrebe, Limpkin, Plain-breasted Ground-Dove, Gray-headed Dove, Mangrove Cuckoo, Striped Owl, Great Potoo, American Pygmy Kingfisher, Bare-crowned Antbird, Spot-breasted Wren, Ruddy-breasted Seedeater, Nicaraguan Seed-Finch, Nicaraguan Grackle, Yellow-tailed Oriole…
Early morning birdwatching with our guide on the hotel grounds. After breakfast, we transfer towards the magnificent Selva Verde Lodge, located in the region of Sarapiqui / Chilamate. Selva Verde Lodge was founded in 1985, the hotel is located in an area of primary and secondary rainforest next to the Braulio Carrillo National Park and the La Selva Tropical Research Station, which is the first center of research in ecology of Costa Rica (and one of the largest in the world). Selva Verde lodge has its own private nature reserve protecting 180 hectares of primary and 300 hectares of secondary tropical rainforest. The reserve is home to an ancient almendro tree estimated to be around 600 years old! Almendro trees are increasingly endangered and are a vital food and nesting resource for the Great Green Macaw (among others). We will enjoy the grounds for some birdwatching before having a buffet lunch at the lodge. In the afternoon we continue towards the Cerro de la Muerte & San Gerardo de Dota region (+/- 5 hour drive) located in the Talamanca mountain range, the highest point on our itinerary. Arrival in the evening, just in time for the delicious & hearty buffet style evening meal served at the lodge.
Birding in Selva Verde Rainforest Reserve, we may be able to observe these species: Keel-billed Toucan, Great Green Macaw, Wood Thrush, Grey-necked Wood Rail, Sunbittern, Violet Crowned Woodnymph, Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager, Cocos Finch, Coppery-headed Emerald, Cocos Cuckoo, Cocos Flycatcher, Mangrove Hummingbird, Turqouise Cotinga, Black-hooded Antshrike, Black-thighed Grosbeak, Blue-and-gold Tanager, Buff-fronted Quail-Dove, Large-footed Finch, Lattice-tailed Trogon, Long-tailed Silky-Flycatcher, Magenta-throated Woodstar, Ochraceous Pewee, Ochraceous Wren, Orange-bellied Trogon, Peg-billed Finch, Prong-billed Barbet, Red-fronted Parrotlet, Riverside Wren, Ruddy Treerunner, Rufous-breasted Quail-Dove, Scintillant Hummingbird, Silvery-fronted Tapaculo, Snowy-breasted Hummingbird, Sooty Thrush, Sooty-capped Bush-Tanager, Spangle-cheeked Tanager, Spot-crowned Euphonia, Streak-breasted Treehunter, Sulphur-rumped Tanager, Sulphur-winged Parakeet, Tawny-chested Flycatcher, Timberline Wren, Volcano Hummingbird, Volcano Junco, White-bellied Mountain-Gem, White-crested Coquette, White-tailed Emerald, Wrenthrush, Yellow-billed Cotinga, Yellow-thighed Finch, Yellow-winged Vireo…
Today we enjoy the quiet property and beautiful region of our Lodge and the private biological reserve spreading on elevations varying between 1,220 and 2,560 meters above sea level and across three different life zones merging here: the premontane, the low montane and the montane rain forest. The Savegre River running through the property hosts a large population of introduced Rainbow trout and is a supply of potable water to the area. All delicious meals are served at the lodge’s dining hall (buffet style).
At this high elevation, temperature ranges between -2.2 °C and 26 °C (28° to 82° Fahrenheit). Here, the ecosystems are primary and secondary tropical cloud Forests, dominated by trees such as wild avocado, oak, small cypress and canuela bamboo. These forests are also characterized by a high incidence of epiphytic plants. One finds here hundreds of species of bromeliads, lichens, mosses, ferns and a multitude of orchids and colorful flowers such as gesnerids. The fauna is diverse; more than 175 different species of birds have been identified. The area is home to the Resplendent Quetzal, who nests here year round, as well as other species including other trogons, the unique silky fly-catcher, the coppery headed emerald hummingbirds, the cerise-throated hummingbirds and the peg-billed finch, many of which are endemic and found only in this part of the world. Other animal species include small felines, tapirs, brockets and coyotes. Throughout our stay here, all delicious meals are served at the lodge’s dining hall (buffet style).
Here are some of the specialty birds to look out for while birding around the Savegre Lodge / San Gerardo de Dota region: Gray-tailed Mountain-Gem, Scintillant Hummingbird, Fiery-throated Hummingbird, Volcano Hummingbird, Resplendent Quetzal, Collared Trogon, Spot-crowned Woodcreeper, Buffy Tuftedcheek, Streak-breasted Treehunter, Sulfur-winged Parakeet, Spotted Wood-Quail, Costa Rican Pygmy-Owl, Black-capped Flycatcher, Dusky Nightjar, Silvery-fronted Tapaculo, Ochraceous Pewee, Long-tailed Silky-flycatcher, Golden-bellied Flycatcher, Timberline Wren, Silvery-throated Jay, Yellow-winged Vireo, Flame-throated Warbler, Black-cheeked Warbler, Collared Redstart, Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush, Wrenthrush (formerly Zeledonia), Sooty-capped Bush-Tanager, Flame-colored Tanager , Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush, Black-thighed Grosbeak, Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush, Sooty Robin, Yellow-thighed Finch, Peg-billed Finch, Volcano Junco, Black-thighed Grosbeak, Large-footed Finch, Yellow-bellied Siskin, White-tailed Emerald, Striped-tailed Hummingbird, Red-headed Barbet, White-winged Tanager…
Early morning birding tour on the lodge's premises and surroundings where one can observe the many different high elevation birds of the country. After breakfast at the lodge, we head towards Sierpe driving down the Talamanca range though San Isidro Del General. Upon arrival around 11h00, we meet our boat captain who will take us to Drake Bay on a scenic and interesting boat ride (1½ to 2 hours) during which we may have the chance to observe monkeys, sloths, macaws, parrots, boobies, pelicans and even dolphins. First, we pass through the rainforest on the Rio Sierpe, which eventually leads through an estuary with mangroves, and further into the ocean. Upon arrival at the beach, be ready to get your feet wet when getting off the boat! After lunch served at the lodge, enjoy a free afternoon to explore the area with your guide or just relax at the beach. The evening meal is served at the lodge.
Early breakfast and departure by boat towards the Sirena Station around 7h00 (1½ to 2 hours boat ride). Sirena is located at the heart of the Corcovado National Park, considered as the most important remaining Pacific coastal rainforest in all of Central America. Because of its remoteness, this national park embraces one of the greatest biological diversity of the country and many important endangered rainforest species are protected here. Guided hiking expedition on the nature trails for birding and wildlife watching with your naturalist guide. The national park is home to monkeys, crocodiles, small land mammals and nearly 400 bird species. Our lunch today will be served "pick-nick style" during the expedition. Around 14h30 we will leave the park to transfer back by boat to our Drake Bay lodge where the evening meal will be served.
Birding in the Corcovado National Park / Osa Peninsula, we may be able to observe the Scarlet Macaw, the Mealy and Red-lored Parrots, the Violacecous and Baird's Trogons, the Fiery-billed Aracari, the Chestnut Mandibled Toucan, the Turquoise Cotinga, the Osprey, the Yellow headed Caracara, the King Vulture, the Great Tinamou, the White-Crested Coquette, the Red-throated Caracara, the Slaty-Tailed Trogon, the Harpy Eagle, the White Hawk, the Short-Billed Pigeon, the Tovi Parakeet and the Bronze-Tailed Sicklebill and most certainly many others…
Early birdwatching on the lodge premises, followed by a hearty breakfast. Around 7h30, we board the motorized boat for our return to Sierpe (90 minutes boat ride). First, we follow the coast until reaching the mouth of the Sierpe River. Then, traveling on the river, we pass through the mangrove estuary to the village of Sierpe where our driver is already waiting to take us to the Carara region (3½ hour drive). We will stop at a restaurant for lunch on the way. Arrival at our comfortable hotel / lodge in the late afternoon, just in time for some relaxation and/or exploration of the surroundings with our guide. Evening meal will be served at the hotel’s restaurant.
Early bird watching around the lodge. After a hearty breakfast, we explore the Carara Biological Reserve. This 5,242-hectare park, encompassing the last significant stand of primary forest of its kind on the Pacific coast, protects evergreen forest of great complexity and density. Carara (the Huetar name for crocodile) is unique in that it lies at the apex of the Amazonian and Mesoamerican ecosystems, a transition zone between the dry forests of the Pacific north and the humid jungles of the southern coast. The diversity of trees found here is among the most important in the world. The 10 rarest hardwoods in the country can be found in this area, and a great variety of animals: the American Crocodile, the Great Anteater, Ocelots, Spider Monkeys and Poison-Arrow Frogs count among the inhabitants of these forests. Carara is also one of the best birdwatching localities in the country. Here we find one of the few remaining populations of Scarlet Macaws in Costa Rica; there are at least 40 breeding pairs and around dawn and dusk, they can be seen in flight as they migrate daily between the wet forest interior and the coastal mangrove swamps. The bridge over the Río Tárcoles is a good place to spot them as they fly over. Other bird species that one might observe here include the Yellow-billed Cotinga, Black-hooded Antshrike, Boat-billed Heron and Fiery-billed Aracari. A good way to explore the reserve is to take on a boat trip through the mangroves, allowing close-up views on species such as Mangrove Hummingbird (only inland Costa Rica endemic), Mangrove Warbler, Vireo, Herons, Egrets, as well as Trogons, Becards, and Flycatchers. This boat ride on the Tarcoles River and across the Guacalillo Estuary, included in our Carara area exploration tour today, will allow us to observe and photograph from the river, as we follow it's course towards the sea, a wealth of fauna, among which for certain the crocodiles and various birds. In the afternoon we drive back to our hotel / lodge to freshen up before the evening served on site.
Birding in the Carara National Park and the Rio Tarcoles area, we may expect to see the birds: Great Tinamou, King Vulture, Scarlet Macaw, Mangrove Hummingbird, Mangrove Vireo, Mangrove Cuckoo, Mangrove Warbler, Baird's Trogon, American Pygmy Kingfisher, White-whiskered Puffbird, Fiery-billed Aracari, Black-hooded Antshrike, Streak-chested Antpitta, Orange-collared Manakin and Long-tailed Manakin, Blue-crowned Manakin and Red-capped Manakin, Black-bellied Wren, Riverside Wren, Royal Flycatcher, Northern Scrub-Flycatcher, Panama Flycatcher, Boat-billed Heron, Common Black-Hawk, Rufous-necked Wood-Rail, Collared Plover, Pacific Screech-Owl...
Exploring the gardens surrounding our lodge early this morning with our guide, will allow us last moments of birdwatching in the Carara national Park area. After breakfast, we transfer to San Jose. Today’s program will be determined by our tour guide, depending on each traveller’s international flight departure. It may be possible to visit the Poas Volcano or San Jose city (these visits are not guaranteed). Airport transfer OR continuation onto our Tortuguero tour